Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to Survive Thanksgiving (With People You Don't Actually Like)

Thanksgiving’s existence is baffling. It is a day that makes most of us miserable.* Vegetarians are angry that we’re pretty much ignoring them for a day and the rest of us are thrown together with relatives we don’t actually like. There is a reason why you see some people only once a year. Meanwhile, my football team hasn’t won on this day in the last nine years. Ugh. Why do we do this to ourselves and is there any way out of the vortex? As always, I provide answers in the form of tips:

1. Don’t Watch Football

It’s a Thanksgiving tradition, I get it, but this year, save yourself. As a Lions fan, I watch my team on Thanksgiving every single year. They haven’t actually won a game on Thanksgiving since 2003. Each year, the world doesn’t get to see how bad the Lions are until Thanksgiving, but on that day, the cat is out of the bag and everybody knows. This year they are 4-6 and facing the 9-1 Texans. Please watch something else. Anything else. I will be watching the game, but that’s only because I hope against hope that we won’t lose by 30.

2. How to Survive Dealing With People You Don’t Actually Like

Everyone has an Aunt Agnes and an Uncle Harry or some derivative. Nobody likes these two characters. Heck, they don’t like themselves. They’ve cheated on each other five times in the past two weeks with six different lovers.** They’ve been talking about getting divorced even before they were married. Yet, they come to Thanksgiving dinner and we are all supposed to act friendly. Screw that. Why wreck an entire day and dinner? Instead, fan the flames. When the conversation lulls, ask Uncle Harry what he did last weekend when you know he was hooking up in the back of his pick-up truck with his mistress. Ask Aunt Agnes if she thinks she found her soul mate and find out the secrets to a great marriage. At that point, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Watch out for the inevitable food fight.

Summary: Stir up Thanksgiving drama because it's fun.

3. Go to Someone Else’s House

Who wants to do dishes, make sure nobody steals stuff, and clean up after the food fight that will ensue once Aunt Agnes and Uncle Harry remember that they hate each other? Not you. I know it’s last minute, but make sure not to have anything of any importance at your house. I have begun taking this rule more seriously after years of finding condom wrappers and empty bottles strewn about my house.***

4. The Food

If you’re like me, you don’t stop eating until all the food is gone or you’ve gained 10 pounds. If there is food in front of me, I’m going to eat it. You’ve all heard that you should wear tight pants and generally tight clothes to prevent yourself from eating the whole turkey alone with dessert. That’s terrible advice. You’re going to look horrible after consuming all that food in those clothes. The buttons on your jeans/pants are going to pop**** and you’ll get gravy all over that nice new outfit. Instead, eat something about an hour before dinner and you won’t feel that full. Oh, you’ll still gain weight and your lover won’t love you as much for about a week, but it’s better than saying “I’ll control myself” and trusting yourself. That never actually works.

5. Don’t Invite Your Lover!

Face it, your family is insane. My family is insane. Thus, do not invite your lover to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a horrible idea. You’re essentially committing sexual suicide. Instead, why not show your lover pictures of you during your awkward teenage years? What a turn-on. Everyone knows what will happen if your lover is invited to Thanksgiving Dinner. Your family will make rude comments and look generally unruly, Aunt Agnes will tell her she looks like a slut. Uncle Harry will keep seductively winking at her. And what’s the best case scenario? Everything goes well, then next year when you’ve broken up, everyone will ask you what happened and every person you bring to dinner will be compared to her. Save yourself! Tell your lover to go kiss a porcupine if they insist on coming to dinner.

* For Jews, that day is Christmas, a.k.a., The Worst Day in the World, but that’s another post for another day.

** Figure that one out. The math works, but it’s complicated.

*** That is, unless you want someone to say, “hey, remember Thanksgiving Dinner? That’s where baby Trevor was consummated! Good times, good times. Did we mention we had sex on your bed?”

**** That’s only happened to me once in the past two weeks.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Defining the Perfect Man

Is Channing Tatum The Perfect Man? Not according to the women I talked to.
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Let’s flashback four days. I was planning a companion post for my “The Perfect Woman” entry, but I had zilch. Actually, I had less than zilch. I figured it was going to be a bad post that no one would read and we would all move on. In other words, I was screwed. Then everything changed. I opened up the floor to women. Wow. I was and am still absolutely blown away by the responses I got. Guys, we’ve got some serious work to do. These women blasted me with more responses than I have ever received. So what do women define as “the perfect man?” Let’s find out:

Legal Notice: As usual, if you are under 18, please do not read this post. Thank you in advance.

1. Have the “Right” Tool(s)

Do you want to know which gender is more sexual? I’ll tell you, it’s women, and it’s not close. How do I know this? When I did the post on The Perfect Woman, not one guy mentioned anything even remotely sexual. For this one? Virtually every single woman mentioned sex. In fact, two specifically mentioned the right type of “tool” they desire a man to have. Surprisingly, both were so different in their descriptions* that it’s impossible throw out what exactly The Perfect Man might be packing. Anyway, in case you were wondering, “it” does matter. A lot.

2. Be Good at Sex or Die

The Perfect Man is not a selfish lover and he puts the needs and desires of the woman before himself. This was a common theme throughout the correspondences. Women want a man who cares if she is satisfied in the bedroom, end of story. One woman even told me she would not hesitate to cheat on a selfish lover. She went on to say that, no matter what else he had going for him, if he couldn’t please her in the bedroom, she would kick him to the curb. Another stated The Perfect Man would give favors and not expect anything in return. If you are a selfish lover and are currently in a relationship, I can assure you your woman is currently being some other guy. How should you cure your disease of being a selfish lover? Easy. Don’t do anything with a woman, not even a hug, for 10 years. After 10 years, a Genie will appear and grant you three wishes. Trust me.

3. Have an Awesome Life Plan

As we have discovered through numbers 1 and 2, women love talking about sex all the time. For us guys, that is downright troubling. We just want to cuddle, right? And women just look at us as sex objects. Life is unfortunately not fair. Anyway, another common theme traced through every single message was that women want their Perfect Man to have a plan for his life. You don’t have to be a millionaire right now, but you have to know where you’re going in life and make sure your woman is excited about it. She’ll want to come along for the ride. How to do this? Have an exciting plan. Be ambitious. Want to write the World’s Greatest Blog and outline a plan to declare yourself The World’s Greatest Usher? Women will love you! What about solving world hunger and ending disease in Africa? While not as cool as being The World’s Greatest Usher, it’s not a bad start. In other words, if you have a degree in something completely idiotic and are planning on living in your parents’ basement for the next 10 years, women probably won’t love you.**

4. Know What You Believe In

The Perfect Man knows what he stands for. It’s not anything specific. Maybe you like evil, pigs, and ticklish porcupines. That’s cool. Maybe you stand for fairness, ensuring the women you date feel safe all the time, and promoting joy in the world. While not as cool as having a pig as a pet or finding a ticklish porcupine, those values matter to women. If you don’t know what you believe in, how can a women support you? She’s effectively supporting nothing.

5. Lead

I’ll admit, I aggregated all of the responses and added this one myself. The Perfect Man knows how to lead his woman. When he feels she wants to be kissed, he doesn’t ask, he brushes her hair back from her face and kisses her. In the movie theater, he appropriately pretends to yawn and then puts his arm around her. He opens car doors and makes sure she gets home safely if she drives herself home.*** If you are still uttering sentences such as, “uhh...can I, like, kiss you, like, please?” Find a fwuffy**** pillow, whack yourself in the head with it, and then call me in the morning. If pillow therapy doesn’t work, I would recommend buying 12 cats.

So, women, are you all really that simple to figure out? Did I miss anything? Are you guys really this sex-obsessed? Let me know in the comments or by email!

* And yes, they did both describe them in detail. I could have done with less detail, but it was kind of like a train wreck, I couldn’t stop reading.

** Not that I would know or anything. Women love me. Well, at least my Mom does...usually.

*** Especially when one lives in a dangerous place such as my home town. We have no rats in my city, because the rats know they can do better. There isn’t a hospital, either, because the state of Illinois decided long ago that if someone lives in my town, that they’re probably not worth saving anyway. The nearest legitimate hospital is 30 minutes away.

**** That’s right, fwuffy! It’s different than fluffy.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Defining the Perfect Woman

If there is one thing everyone should know by now, it is that with anything regarding relationships, I am here to do one of two things: help you immensely or send you off on a wild good chase. Today, I plan on doing the former. Too often, women spend their Saturdays watching chick flicks wondering, “what do men want in a woman? Aren’t I awesome?”* I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that no, you are not the perfect woman, but the good news is that this post will help you become that woman. Any woman who is not exactly like the one I describe below will inevitably be dateless and depressed. That’s right. Remember when you were growing up and everyone always used to say “every woman is a snowflake, special in her own way.” Unfortunately, they were just being nice. In reality, only one woman is “the perfect woman.” I’ll give you a hint, Chanel Blanch.

1. DTC - Down To Cuddle

That’s right. This is number one. If there were a number zero, this would be it. We say we want the hottest woman in the world with the perfect body and an amazing personality. Ladies, that is merely our rough exterior. Inside, guys are softer than marshmallows with their oooey-gooey centers. Would you really respect us if we told you what we really wanted? Well, I am willing to risk my masculinity to tell you. All we really want is an amazing cuddler. We want to get into bed with you, pull you close to our chest, and talk about our feelings nonstop. The perfect woman would listen intently, tell the guy how good he is at cuddling, and ensure the guy feels safe about sharing his innermost secrets. If you have this down, you’re good to go. If you don’t, then whatever else you do won’t matter.

2. The Look/The Clothes**

The Perfect Woman looks at herself in the mirror every morning, ideally more than 10 times, and tells herself how awesome she looks, because she does look awesome. She doesn’t have anything in her closet that makes her look bad***, she wakes up every morning to put on $300 worth of makeup and do her hair. She doesn’t have to wake up early for breakfast because breakfast is always a piece of fruit, raw broccoli, or some other vegetable that not only is full of nutritional value, but is also very low-calorie and tastes positively terrible. Food that tastes good such as cookies, cakes, sugar, and pizza, are for those of us who aren’t very attractive. She has dark hair and is shorter than us by a couple of inches. If you’re blonde or a redhead, I would get on that, and fast.

3. Femininity, Please

How will we know you’re a woman unless you hit us over the head with it? We need pink and purple. Everyday. I am talking bows in your hair, high-pitched voice at all times, and being extremely girly. That stuff is like catnip for guys. She knows that, as a woman, her role is to cook, clean, take care of the house, and encourage her man to fulfill his dreams. It doesn’t all have to be restrictive. Guys love moms and being cared for. Your truly, in particular.***** There’s nothing like a woman pinching your cheeks and talking in a baby voice to set the mood.

The Correct Answer: Michelle Branch. Pretending to play the guitar while wearing skinny jeans? More please.
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4. Cleanliness

The Perfect Woman values cleanliness. Her room does not look like a tornado hit it. Her car should look and smell nice and not have stuff from 1991 in it. Her bathroom should not have tampons and pregnancy tests strewn about.**** Ideally, she has showered more than once in the past three months. She does not use perfume to mask the fact that she doesn’t like to shower.

5. Personality

Stereotypically, guys do not care about a woman’s personality. Here at Angry Rose Bushes, we are firmly entrenched in gender roles and stereotypes from 1913, so no, guys do not care nearly as much about personality as everything else on this list, but it does matter. Guys want a caring woman who is generally a nice person. She is nice to animals and small children. She has not harmed any of her past boyfriends in any measurable way, is not skilled with any kind of deadly weapon, and is not the type to get enraged over small things like cheating on her or cuddling with other women. She is extremely confident in her abilities and has a high self-esteem.

This picture screams "I have a personality! And look how amazing I look expressing it!"
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6. Money

Remember back in the day when I said we only reinforce stereotypes here? Well, in just one paragraph, I have changed my mind. Conventional wisdom says women are gold diggers, but one of life’s best kept secrets is that guys actually want a rich woman more than women want a rich guy. We don’t care how she got her money, well, alright, one or two “professions” might not make us too happy, but we will love a woman for being incredibly rich. That means we get to stay home all day and do absolutely nothing. It also means we can afford 10 kids. Who wants to work anyway? Not us.

I’m not saying this is a perfect list, but I would definitely date this theoretical woman and propose to her on the third date.

So, did I nail it? Was I way off on anything? Hit me up in the comments section.

* If you were that awesome, you would have hundreds of dates and daily marriage proposals. How do I know that I’m awesome? Well, a 75-year old woman hit on me the other day right in front of her husband. Her husband had to pull her away. Her name is Ethel. I’ll admit it, I flirted back.

** Didn’t I just say that looks and personality doesn’t matter very much? I did. However, without looking your best and using that stuff to pull him in, how will he ever discover your amazing cuddling ability? Women seem to think their looks are everything, but in reality, your cuddling is everything, but it is everything else that causes us to find out about your cuddling.

*** To see what I mean by this in a serious and healthy way, check out The Bird Days blog for a woman who knows how to put together a wardrobe. See her Wonder Woman shirt? That’s because The Perfect Woman is so rare, she’s actually a superhero of sorts. Jennie knows what’s up.

**** And it definitely should not have positive pregnancy tests with names and numbers of guys on them...don’t ask.

***** My Mom is my best friend. There, I said it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Unfortunate Consequences of Speaking Before Thinking

As many of you may know, a very close friend of mine* is known for having a bit of a blunt as a bat, hardcore honest, balls to the wall, type of personality. Unfortunately, this type of loose-cannon behavior has backfired once or twice. Here are some of the more unfortunate examples of refusing to think before one speaks:

“Your Honor, I motion that the Plaintiff be declared too stupid to live. How could he not be paying enough attention to notice a speeding car heading right for him? Most people would jump out of the way or something, but not this Bozo. If anything, I am the victim here.”

“You know what? There is nothing I could say to you that would make you finding two pregnancy tests here acceptable, so think what you want to think.”

"You are a horrible parent. What person, in their right mind, stands outside of their kids' bedroom cheering on the sexcapades going on inside?"

“Are you guys all going out to ‘shoot your homies?’ Isn’t that what all the kids are saying these days?”**

“Are you seriously allowed to tie me up, blindfold me, and leave me here? Isn’t that against the rules? Was that some work email I missed?”

“Babe, look, you’re not that hot. If I were to leave you here you might get 8 dollars, and that’s only if there are some desperate gentlemen out on the streets tonight.”

“Wow, I am so awesome at my job. You should give me a raise and call me Sheila. You know what? Hold the Sheila, just give me the raise.”

“This is absolutely terrible. Where did you learn to cook, Truck Driving School?”

“I’m not going to say that kissing you is like kissing a porcupine since I have never actually kissed a porcupine, but I would imagine the experiences are similar. Why do you use your teeth so much?”

“If we were the last two people on Earth, I still wouldn’t date you. Humankind would die out. No repopulating the world fantasies.”

“Look, I am not your Fwuffy-wuffykins and would really appreciate it if you stopped sending these pictures to me. I am not your girlfriend.”

“You probably should have told me you were married, I don’t know, five hours ago. And no, I am not “in the mood” anymore.”

“I would definitely call you an Ugly Duckling to Swan story. You used to be really ugly but clearly you made some drastic changes in your life. Great work.”

“I am actually booked solid for the next four years, but yeah, I would love to hang out with you.”

"Every law should have a Cuddle Clause."

"Are you kidding me? I'd sell my own Grandma to make a buck. Heck, I'd sell her for 50 cents. Any takers?"

* See? It's not me! Believe me!

** This is apparently not what all of the kids are saying these days, but hey, it was worth a shot. Right?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Responding to the Troubling Questions of My Readers

Some events can change the very direction of one’s life. The other day, such an event occurred. Some gentleman asked me for an autograph. Oh sure, he was a cashier at Whole Foods and it was a credit card transaction, but it impacted me nonetheless. I dream of the day that someone does ask me for an autograph and that it makes that sheet of paper worth more, not less. In any case, I have been inundated with emails, real and fictitious, for weeks now, and it is time I responded to some of you guys in a more public forum. Names have been changed, cities have been made up, but the sheer insanity of some of you, I hope, still comes through. Look, I love you guys, but some of you scare the crap of me. Without further ado*:

“Dude, you suck. Seriously. The only thing yur gud at is spelllling. Your posts suck. Did I mention you suck? You do. Angry Rose Bushes sucks. I hope you go thru life sucking. You probably suck at ushering too.” - Tiny Tim (Tally Teddy Tuesday, Texas)

Dear Tim, you’re wrong. I am awesome at ushing. That’s why the fictitious National Ushing Association declared me Greatest Usher in the World. Everything else, well, you bring up some good points. - Josh (The basement in my parents’ house)

“Hi Josh, I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 years and I’m wondering if we should break up. I just found out he doesn’t want kids and I want 7. He also says he hates your blog, you might know him as Tiny Tim (take a guess what he’s referring too ;) ). What should I do? I’m scared because what if no one else loves me?” - Taylor Teagarden (Ticklish Tortoise, Toronto)

Dear Taylor, well, first of all, Ah ha! I am on to you, Tiny Tim! Secondly, 5 years? 5 years? Do you know how many times people get married and divorced over a 5-year period? Kim Kardashian is about to be on her third marriage and none of them lasted 5 months. Heck, one didn’t last 5 days. Hopefully Snooki's engagement will end in the next five minutes so I can start dating her. In any case, when exactly was this going to come up? When you guys get together, what do you talk about? When you told me he hated my blog, that was it for me. It is a legitimate concern that no one will ever love you again, so you might just want to stay with him to be sure. If you do need a rebound, though, I am tentatively available. - Josh (Still in the basement)

Does Snooki's engagement need to end now so I can date her?
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“I wanted to let you know how awesome you are and how much I want to give you a giant hug. What should I do?” - Mat** (Hernon Mills, Illinois)

Hello gentleman who I pray is not Nat, well, you could add me on Facebook or like the Angry Rose Bushes page on Facebook and stalk me until we “accidentally” run into each other. I would only be a little suspicious. - Josh (Pacing around...still in the basement)

“How do we know these are actually questions and you’re not just making all of them up to take up space?” - Angry (Angry, Arizona) me? You know what, on second thought, that's probably the worst advice I've ever given. Question everything. Maybe we should give our houses to the fish and we should live in the sea so they can fish for us? Maybe instead of kissing, we should lick each others' backs.  - Josh (Eating my feelings with organic food, still in the basement)

"You are a genius! I took your advice from your 5 Ways to Survive the Workplace post and started flirting hardcore with my boss. I am now his boss. You rock!" Nora Nosington (Living the Good Life)

Hey Nora, well, I am slightly concerned, nay, I am deeply, deeply worried about your email. That was total sarcasm, you weren't actually supposed to try to get ahead by being seductive. I am also slightly curious about the difference between hardcore and soft-core flirting, but I think for my own good, you shouldn't tell me.*** - Josh (Scared half to death, but still stuffing my face)

* If you would like to email me a 10-page email with all of your problems, of if you just want to chat, you can hit me up at AngryRoseBushes AT Gmail DOT Com. 

** I, too, am troubled by how many gentlemen would like to get in contact with me. If you are a woman and would like to contact and/or stalk me, I would recommend finding out what I want in a woman from this post and what you can expect from me. You may also want to sharpen your first date skills here . Also, a little bit of Facebook stalking couldn’t hurt.

*** Unfortunately, she did tell me what the difference is and it is really scary. For future reference, please do not flirt with the boss to get ahead as it is probably illegal. You are to stay at your current place on the corporate ladder no matter what.